Dr. John P. Kotter

Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership, Emeritus, Harvard Business School

John P. Kotter is the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership, Emeritus, at the Harvard Business School, a New York Times bestselling author, and a well known thought leader in the areas of complex change, leadership, and corporate culture. He is also the co-founder of the management consulting firm, Kotter International.

Dr. Kotter has published 22 books, 13 of which have been best sellers and 13 of which have been honored on lists of best business or management books of the year. His recent book, Accelerate, is based on research done at Kotter International. The St. Petersburg Economic Forum, Inc. Magazine, strategy+business, and the Chartered Management Institute all selected Accelerate as a best-of-year book. Leading Change, perhaps his most well known book, has been translated into 26 languages and was chosen by Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential management books ever written. His new book, Change, was published in June 2021 and instantly became an Amazon best seller.

A 2001 survey of 504 businesses by Bloomberg Business Week reported that Dr. Kotter was seen as the #1 leadership guru in America. Subsequent surveys by a number of organizations in 2004, 2008, 2009, and 2013-2020 have named Dr. Kotter as the world’s number one thought leader in the areas of management, corporate culture, and change. The Chinese edition of Harvard Business Review rated him as one of the six thought leaders who have “significantly influenced Chinese modern business ideas and practices”. In 2018, London based Thinkers50 inducted him into its Management Thinkers Hall of Fame (a small number of people from around the world who are “the giants upon whose shoulders managers and leaders stand”).

Three videos co-produced by Dr. Kotter have won national or international awards. Three stage plays, the first sponsored by the Times of India, have been produced and shown to audiences in Europe and Asia based on his book, Our Iceberg is Melting.

In 2009, Dr. Kotter co-founded Kotter International. The firm focuses on helping organizations and leaders deal more effectively with complex change of any sort: strategic, digital, cultural, M and A driven, restructuring, etc. Today, it has corporate offices in Seattle and Boston, with outposts in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Delhi, Denver, Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta, New York, Miami, Paris, and Frankfort. Its goal is to be the leading firm of its kind in the world.

Kotter International helps clients accelerate change to solve problems and grab opportunities. Working side by side, Kotter empowers teams to inspire a movement, grounded in shared purpose, to create a lasting impact. Kotter clients regularly win awards for their joint work. In 2017 Kotter International itself won its first formal award: Entrepreneurs magazine’s “Top Company Cultures,” in the small business category, ranking in 1st place among management consulting firms.

Dr. Kotter personally is the recipient of six lifetime achievement awards. The latest, from 2018, was given by the Best Practices Institute with the inscription “Kotter is a legend in the field of change”.

Talk - Fireside chat on change